John Bateman: England and Canberra back-rower out for up to eight weeks with eye socket fracture

John Bateman
John Bateman was hurt in a tackle on Penrith back-rower Viliame Kikau

England back-rower John Bateman will be out for up to eight weeks as he requires surgery on a fractured eye socket, Canberra Raiders confirmed.

Bateman, 25, had been a star performer for the Raiders since his 2019 move to the National Rugby League in Australia, scoring one try in eight games.

However, he was injured in a tackle on Penrith opponent Viliame Kikau on Saturday, ending his game prematurely.

"He is expected to return between rounds 15-17," the club said.

Although not as serious as the shoulder injury to stand-off Gareth Widdop, it is another blow to England and Great Britain head coach Wayne Bennett.

Bateman, along with club team-mates Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead and Ryan Sutton, is among Bennett's NRL-based England contingent, which also includes St George Illawarra prop James Graham and the Burgess brothers - Sam, Thomas and George - at South Sydney.

The Bradford-born player is a candidate for Great Britain this autumn, who will travel to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in October and November where they will also play Tonga.

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